Research Highlights: April 2018

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Ground Reflectance Training Course At Railroad Valley Playa

Kurtis Thome1, and Brian Wenny2

(1: Biospheric Sciences Lab NASA GSFC, 2: SSAI)

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Calibration and validation ensures high data quality and comparability between sensor systems. The Geoscience Spaceborne Imaging Spectroscopy Technical Committee (GSIS TC) conducted a training activity in July 2017 at the vicarious calibration test site at Railroad Valley, NV. The course, organized by C. Ong (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Perth) and K. Thome (NASA/GSFC) included demonstration of measurement protocols for surface and atmospheric parameters that minimize uncertainties as part of the vicarious calibration of on-orbit sensors. The course also allowed evaluation of a field portable transfer radiometer and sampling approaches to surface reflectance retrievals.

Name: Kurt Thome, Biospheric Science Lab, NASA GSFC
Phone: 301-614-6671


Data Sources:

Technical Description of Figures

Scientific significance, societal relevance, and relationships to future missions:

The field training exercise conducted at Railroad Valley provided valuable training for personnel working across various earth observation areas, from engineers developing future sensors to calibration scientists actively working in the field. A comprehensive set of valuable data were acquired as part of the training which will be useful to answer numerous science questions including:

  1. understanding the spatial and spectral homogeneity of the site being measured;
  2. understanding the optimal sampling to characterize the site; and,
  3. optimization of sampling techniques, including looking into automation of some aspects of the measurement protocols.
The comparisons between the diffuser-based retrievals of reflectance and the radiance-based retrievals will offer the lessons needed for the calibration and validation of missions such as Landsat and CLARREO Pathfinder and those projects identified in the recent Decadal Survey. The training course provided valuable experience to those scientists that will be performing the validation of these new missions as well as to the trainers that were fortunate enough to participate.